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Coding by Numbers

OK, I relent: please stop sending me emails requesting more programming tutorials. I know you want it. You know I want it. The next step is to figure out what you want so we can crack on with the delivery.

Now, a disclaimer: I'm a big fan of Getting Things Done (with code; as opposed to with David Allen), which means I care less about theory and more about projects. That means I want things like "Make XYZ", where it doesn't matter what techniques you use to make the XYZ, and neither does it matter what coding language you use, because the end result is something cool that you can modify to your heart's content.

So, I want to go ahead and commission some programming articles for Linux Format. If you want to program with us, here's your chance to tell me what you want to see. Do you really want theory? Do you really care with programming language we use? (note: our standard choices are C/C++/C#/Java/Python/Perl/PHP) Are there particular things you want to build? Would you rather multiple smaller projects (ie one an issue) or one big project?

Have your say, and we'll do our best to deliver.

Your comments

Personally I'd really want

Personally I'd really want the theory. Is there any chance of creating a little "instant messenger" to help me understand a little about client/server programming?
With regards to the language can I vote for either C or Python, and to top it all off I'm a bit greedy can we have both lots of smaller projects alongside 1 big project?


Processing ( could be a good language for non-programmers, like myself. It's well documented (website and books), multiplatform (it's based on Java) and has a great community. In a few minutes you can create an small program with cool graphics. The programs can be used alone or embedded in webpages, that makes it an alternative to Flash.

Personally I prefer small project. For me programming is a hobby and I cannot spare much time in it. So anything that requires more than two or three afternoons is "off limits".

It's very easy (as far I know, I haven't tested yet) to use Processing to do things with the Arduino, like use it as data logger or to plot the data monitored by the Arduino.

An small project could be build your own meteorological station with your Arduino and Processing. Another one, more expensive using the GPS for Arduino ( Create a geographical coordinate recorder, then with Processing we could download those data and geolocate the photos we took. Something like Sony's GPS-CS1 (

Just one thought: UI in

Just one thought:

UI in Moonlight with back-end web services. Possibly creating desktop widgets etc.. Some examples where the techniques can be re-used obviously. Possibly the IM client mentioned previously using SIP/SIMPLE or something.

I'd also really like another tutorial like the one you did before on how to modify existing projects with extra features that can be submitted for review and maybe even incorporated into an actual project -- this whole area seems quite complex, but perhaps it's just me ;)

I haven't sent you an email,

I haven't sent you an email, so thanks for the are you doing more tutorials :-)

I think a tutorial on

I think a tutorial on programming a little Game Boy game in Z80 assembly would be the most kick-ass thing ever conceived by humankind.

[Mental note: post this anonymously]

I agree with Mike that would

I agree with Mike that would be a cool project. How about some 'what on earth is...' type articles for the gnu autotools, as a starting point of course. Then into some really stuff using embedded technologies, e.g. sqlite, LUA, Python, TCL, etc. As this sort of code seems to adhere more to the *nix way of doing things.
All in all I don't really care what way you proceed, as long as you do, as there have been some brilliant articles in the past, 3d game programming with OGRE for instance. Anyway thanks again for listening to the readers, its very much appreciated.


PS - what about adding in tcp/ip support for MikeOS, or even writing some commandline tools for it as a starter. That way, you learn about assembly language, to think low level and handle various build requirements, etc. Just a thought.

How about another Code It!

How about another Code It! special, I really enjoyed the last one. Maybe the layout was a bit 'comicy' for some but for us beginners it was a refreshing read. :) Failing that I think good, fun tutorials that create usable apps regardless of language. :)

Having programmed Z80 sprite

Having programmed Z80 sprite code on my Spectrum +2A at the age of 14, I'm going to second Mike Saunders :)

i would like to be able to

i would like to be able to contribute to open source projects, and create my own, however i don't know enough about serious coding to be able to do so, therefore some theory would be good, but that's no use without some practice.

so, an idea. how about taking some popular projects and fixing bugs or implementing requested features? you can take your pick from gnome apps, KDE apps or OS independent apps in any language, etc. these could be one app/project per month or spread over a number of months depending on how complex the solution is. that would help in how to get started and understand a lot more about how the various systems work. then there could be some projects on the lighter side as in making XYZ.

anyway it's just an idea i've had for a while.

I'm open to anything so long

I'm open to anything so long as it coded in the kiss (keep it simple) language...

I agree with Alex. It would

I agree with Alex. It would be great to get some info on the core *nix development toolchain as well as some great c/c++/python/ruby articles.

I think the articles should contain some theory but the Mono tut's were good in actually seeing a finished project.

I would love to see a follow up to Mr Bacons excellent QT tutorial serise especially as KDE 4 is now out.

I'd like to see something on

I'd like to see something on creating a plugin or somesuch for Eclipse please. Eclipse seems to get mentioned every now and then in LXF, but mostly as an 'also consider' when you're reviewing another IDE. Might be a bit specialist, but it's what floats my boat!

* KDE plasmoids * Something

* KDE plasmoids
* Something GUI with Python
* Something with sockets

I'd love some C or Python

I'd love some C or Python tutorials. Making simple games such as Pacman type clones etc. would be an interesting way to learn, teaching both theory and getting a fun end product out of it.

I also agree that another Code It! special would be a good idea, but reaffirm my point that specials should be included or available to buy by subscribers. Just send us a notification by email or something.

I would second a moonlight

I would second a moonlight tutorial. I'm presently lumbered with Silverlight and ASP.NET to get a half-decent site going using this new technology - it would be great to hear how it could be done 'the Linux way'!

Oh, and something on MikeOS would be pretty cool too!

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